Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. ~ Dr. Seuss

Volcano Rising

line Volcano Rising
by Elizabeth Rusch (Author), Susan Swan (Illustrator) 

Destructive? Not quite!

Volcano Rising is a non-fiction picture book where Rusch and Swan demonstrate that volcanoes do not just destroy. Elizabeth Rusch explores volcanoes in a fresh new perspective, explaining how they can be the best thing to happen for new life. We often read about volcanoes as being destructive, noisy or violent. Elizabeth Rusch shows us the other side of the coin.

Volcano Rising Underwater

Volcano Rising Underwater

“Volcano Rising” opens with a colorful “Pow” and “Spurt” of a live volcano bursting lava into the air. The book goes on to describe super volcanoes of Yellowstone, undersea volcanoes and the crater creation of Paricutin in Mexico. While the author opens with a destructive scene, she focuses more on the creative power of the volcanoes. Rusch explains how the bursting of volcanoes creates new lands, islands and mountains where none existed before. Rusch explains how ashes from the after effects actually help farmers to fertilize their fields.

Volcano Rising Jacket

What really caught my eye is the arrangement and use of text in this book. The bold first words and lines of the text is intended for younger readers, whereas a more detailed secondary text gives in-depth information for mature readers or for read alouds. This was a clever way of capturing multiple age-groups and keeping kids interested for longer.


Packed with information, Volcano Rising is made even more dramatic by Susan Swams artwork. Susan uses hand painted pages, digital paintings and scans and combines them with bold lines and colors. This mixed media collage illustrations work superbly in the context of volcanoes. Vivid, bright colors truly capture the bold mountains and mighty powerful burst of volcanoes. The book also has a wonderful glossary and useful resources for those who want to know more.

A wonderful book to add to your home or school library!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

1 comment

  1. I like the idea of focusing on the positive side of volcanoes. My kids are always pretty terrified when we learn about natural disasters, and this would be a good addition to balance things out. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Looking forward to seeing you again this week!


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